Affair with Death
There was once a young man and woman. They fell in love by the sea. After a brief courtship, they were wed. The young couple hoped to start a happy life together. However, the young man fell ill on their honeymoon in the local sea town where they first fell in love. At first, it started out as a small cough. He insisted that it was nothing serious.
“I will be fine, I promise,” he told his bride. But his health gradually took a turn for the worst in the coming weeks. The doctors didn’t know what to do. The young bride waited by their bedroom door as the last one closed up his medical bag.
“Is there anything that can be done?” she asked. The old doctor shook his head.
“He doesn’t have much time left,” he said. The bride shook her head.
“No…” she murmured.
“I’m so sorry, miss,” the doctor said.
Her lips began to tremble. “What can I do?”
“Spend what little time you have left with your husband.” The doctor bowed his head. “I will see myself out.” The bride was left standing as the old man walked out of the cabin that the couple were staying in by the sea. She fled to her husband bedside and collapsed.
“No,” she said whispered. “No. No. No.” Her husband struggled to take her hand. The bride lifted her head to see him smiling sadly.
“It’s okay,” he said in a weak voice. “I will die happy knowing you are by my side.” Tears formed in the bride’s eyes.
“I can’t lose you!” she wailed. Her husband closed his eyes and began softly humming her to sleep.
The next night, the bride awoke to a man in black standing over her sleeping husband. This gentleman held a scythe over his head aimed at the sleeping man. She shivered as she realized his true nature.
“No!” the bride cried. “Please don’t take him away from me! I don’t know if I could live without him!” The gentleman in the black suit looked up.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “But I must do this.”
“Please! I will do anything! Just don’t take my husband away.”
The gentleman in black lowered his scythe. “What could a human woman like you possibly give me?” The bride lowered her head as she began unbuttoning her nightgown. She didn’t know why she came to this point. It was as if the bride was desperate to save her husband at any cost. The gentleman in black raised an eyebrow.
“Do you really think that is going work with me?” he asked.
“Please,” she begged. The bride took the Death Man into her arms and kissed him on the lips. She kissed him again. On the third kiss, he collapsed on top of her and kissed back. Forgive me, my love, the bride thought as she gave herself over to the gentleman in black.
Over the course of weeks, the bride and the Death Man began a steamy affair. They would meet up at night on the beach and make love in the sand. She remembered the first night that she made love to the gentleman in black. The bride couldn’t bring herself to look him in the face. Her eyes stayed on her husband as his breathing became labored in his sleep. She reached out to touch his cheek, but the gentleman in black pulled her hand away. Her turned her face so that her eyes remained on him. The bride felt something die within her. She didn’t wish to fall in love with death. She only wanted to save her husband.
Afterward, the Death Man sat up, panting. The bride’s eyes looked so blank. He pushed her light blonde hair out of her eyes.
“I will reconsider your offer,” he said. The Death Man redressed himself and left without the husband’s soul.
The bride told herself not to get too attached to the gentleman in black. This fling would only by until her husband recovered from his illness. Besides, the Death Man seemed like a cold man. She could never bring herself to somebody would could take a life without any regard. When he would copulate with her, she would feel so cold despite the warm summer nights. Still, the bride resisted asking about when he would release her husband from the death list. One little slip would end up making her a widow. The bride would think about her husband as a way to get through each night.
Over time, the gentleman in black began to change. He began to act more gentle towards the bride. Gone were the nights of cold, empty sex. In their place came a warm, forming bond. He would bring the young bride flowers every morning at the foot of her bed. The Death Man would accompany her on walks on the beach near the cabin. The lovemaking even felt much warmer and more tender. Sometimes, he didn’t show up to sleep with her. The gentleman in black would just let her hold him until they fell asleep on the beach.
At this point, the bride didn’t know how to take this. She still loved her husband and wanted him to live. But now, the young woman began to feel some sympathy towards the gentleman in black. Maybe, he wasn’t so cold as he appeared to be. He seemed rather lonely and maybe couldn’t figure out how to deal with the warmth of human emotions. If things were different, maybe they could have a proper relationship. However, the bride knew this affair with the Death Man couldn’t last forever. She longed to be back with her husband. The whole time she spent with her lover, her mind always went back to that ill young man lying in their marriage bed, barely awake. She knew she would have to end things with the Death Man before this all spiraled downwards.
One evening, the gentleman in black looked up at the bride after a heated night of making love on the beach.
“Do you love me?” he asked her. The bride knew this question was coming for she was going to use it to break things off. She held the gentleman in black in her arms with a tightening grip.
“I wish that I could, but I can’t,” she confessed. “I love my husband and I don’t want to betray him anymore.” The bride felt her heart twisting in her chest. “We have developed a close relationship, but I only wanted to spare my husband.”
“Are you leaving me?” he asked.
“I feel that I must. My husband is a good man. What I am doing to him would crush him if he ever learned what I was doing.”
“Isn’t it for him, though?”
“It’s still wrong. I really do love my husband and I don’t want to lose him.” The bride grabbed her lover by the hand. “Please, let him live. I beg of you for the last time.” She had prepared herself when he would turn her down and force her to stay in their fling. The bride closed her eyes and waited. Instead, Death patted her on the head.
“Very well,” he said. “I will let your husband live.” His now-former lover opened her eyes as she gasped.
“Do you really mean that?” she asked. He kissed her on the forehead.
“You proved that you still love him even you were with me,” Death whispered. “I could your love for him in your heart. Your mind was always with him. I apologize for trying to come between you. Have a good life together and you will never see me again until your time comes.” He gave her one last kiss. The bride lay on the beach, naked and alone.
By morning, the husband awoke to find his wife asleep at his feet. The bride opened her eyes and looked up.
“Hey,” her husband said.
“How are you?” she asked. He sat up in bed.
“I feel great,” the husband said. His wife rushed forward and hugged him.
“Whoa!” he said. “What is all of this about?” The bride looked her beloved in the eye.
“Please don’t do that to me again,” she said. “I cannot bear to think about living without you.” Her husband pulled her into his arms.
“You win,” he said softly in her hair.
“I love you so much!” She broke down weeping.
“I love you too,” her husband said. The bride decided never to tell him about what she had to do to keep him from dying. He didn’t need to know that and she still loved him through what she did. The couple remained married and lived on into a ripe old age. When it came time for them to die, Death decided to take them both together on the same day.